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The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index declined to 93.6 in February from a final reading of 98.1 in January, missing expectations for an increase to 98.2. That was the highest level since January 2004.
The harsh weather may have been a key factor of the drop.
A gauge of consumers' current economic conditions dropped to 103.1 in February from 109.3 in January.
The index of consumer expectations declined to 87.5 from 91.0.
The one-year inflation expectations in February climbed to 2.8% from 2.5% at the end of January.
The Surveys of Consumers chief economist at the University of Michigan Richard Curtin said that the decline was a result of "renewed concerns over employment and wage growth".
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